By July 1, 2019, the state intends to have no runaway or unaccompanied homeless children. SB 6364 considers runaway or unaccompanied homeless children as neglected and states that every effort must be made to reunify the child with their family or guardian. If family reunification is not possibly, the child will be screened in for services by DSHS. Youth must not be discharged from a public system of care into homelessness.
Included in 6364 are biennial inspections of licensed facilities that provide shelter to unaccompanied homeless youth; inspections will be provided to the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs and the legislature.
Part II: By December 1, 2018, the office of homeless youth prevention and protection programs shall report to the legislature the status of their measurable goals; they will continue to report annually.
Grant programs through the office of homeless youth prevention must fund housing, family reconciliation, or street youth services. Grant recipients providing street youth services will report on metrics monthly. Any person seeking services must provide their personally identifying information to receive any services.
Part IV: Data on the following populations will be collected: chronically homeless individuals and families, unaccompanied homeless youth, male veterans, female veterans, adults with severe mental illness, adults with chronic substance abuse issues, adults with HIV/AIDS, senior citizens, victims of domestic violence, and an estimate of the number of homeless individuals that are not included in the census. Bill language changes the ten-year strategic plan to a five-year plan which must be submitted to the legislature by July 1, 2019 and updated every five years. Each county will also create a homeless housing task force to develop a five year homeless housing plan with a specific focus and goal of reducing youth homelessness. The biannual report to the governor and legislature is removed.
In regards to the home security fund, grants may only be awarded for programs directly related to addressing the root causes of homelessness, preventing homelessness and collecting data and information on homeless individuals.
Part V: $50,000 is appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018 from the general fund to the Department of Commerce to be distributed to five housing authorities.
$50,000 is appropriated for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2018 from the general fund to the Department of Commerce to be distributed to five community action agencies.
$200,000 is appropriated for the fiscal biennium ending June 30, 2019.